ISLAMABAD, March 18 (AFP) - Pakistan former Prime Minister Imran Khan was set to appear in court on Saturday as police entered his property and after he expressed fear of arrest in a standoff with the government that has led to intense clashes with his supporters.
Facing a spate of legal challenges, including one that prompted a failed attempt to arrest him on Tuesday, Khan was to address charges in the court in the capital Islamabad of unlawfully selling state gifts given to him by foreign dignitaries while in office.
Khan says he followed legal procedures in acquiring the gifts.
Hours before leaving his home in Lahore, the former cricket legend told Reuters he has formed a committee to lead his party if he is arrested.
Khan, 70, has led nationwide protests after his ouster from power last year and has had a spate of cases registered against him. The police unsuccessfully tried to arrest him on Tuesday.
Police entered his property after Khan arrived in Islamabad for the court appearance. Earlier this week, police and Khan's supporters clashed outside his home earlier during the arrest attempt.
Khan, who was shot and wounded while campaigning in November, said in an interview the threat to his life is greater than before and asserted - without providing evidence - that his political opponents and the military want to block him from standing in elections later this year.
The military and government did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif's government has denied being behind the cases. The military - which has an outsized role in Pakistan, having ruled the country for nearly half of its 75-year history - has said it remains neutral towards politics.
Security was tight around the judicial complex where Khan, 70, was headed in a motorcade surrounded by supporters.